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Stop Camel Crickets From Invading Your Home

These ugly bugs are taking over area homes. How do you get rid of them?

Jumpy bugs. Hippity Hops. Cave crickets.

That's just some of the names local residents have given to these critters that have invaded their homes, particularly their basements. Their actual name is Rhaphidophoridae, but they are commonly called camel crickets because of their "humpbacked appearance," according to North Carolina University's Department of Entomology Web site. 

Unlike field crickets, these strange-looking creatures have no wings and they do not chirp, but they can jump very high, which they usually do when they are startled. For instance, when they detect, using their antennae, that someone is approaching or if you throw a shoe at them. 

"Cave crickets, also known as camel crickets, pop up in late August every year for the last 10 years or so," said Adam Novick, an owner of Alper's Hardware in Port Washington.

"The best way to prevent cave crickets is to do something every homeowner should be doing anyway, which is paying attention to your home's exterior," Novick pointed out. "Fill all cracks and gaps with appropriate sealants and weather stripping. Be especially attentive to access to the basement and garage."

"Cave crickets like dark, damp places, so running a dehumidifier also helps," he said. "Mulch should be kept at least 12" away from the house, which helps create a drier perimeter. Once they are in the house, sticky traps work best. We sell a four-pack from JT Eaton that becomes one of our best sellers every August."  

If these jumping bugs seemed to have a liking for your home, take heart, Novick says, adding, "The good news is that around the first of the year, the problem tends to subside – although some houses have these pests all year long."

Do you have these critters in your home? Tell us about it and what's worked (or not worked) for you? To see what else readers had to say about camel crickets click here .

Cheryl Podolsky December 04, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I first encountered a cave cricket in my house back in 2006, and since then, it's become something of an invasion. As I am unable to seal all possible entries due to a french drainage system in the storage room area of my basement, it's pretty much an open door to them. I use a combination of Niban granular bait and the Eaton glue traps Adam mentioned in the article. Not sure if the Niban actually does anything, but those traps certainly fill up quickly. It's bad enough when your waking moments include hatching new plans to combat them, but when you actually have a dream about killing them with a flamethrower -- which I had just last night -- you know you've got problems.
Derp December 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Glad it's not just me. With no exaggeration, about 50 of these have died by my hand (plus paper towel).
Mary Snyder December 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Thanks so much for this article! I've been in my home for twenty years, and just recently found these creatures invading my basement. I'll stop throwing old shoes at them and head to Alpers's for the real solution!
Jane December 04, 2012 at 06:13 PM
we have them pretty bad this year. we call them sprickets in our house because they have coloring like a spider and the body of a cricket. luckily, our kitten loves to catch them, kill them, and leave them as presents for us. I'm so glad we have her!
GFP63 December 05, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Nasty (Not so little) creatures. We used to have them bad. A bit less over the years.Strategically placed sticky traps and a dog work well. My dog likes to "play" with them. By "play" mean dismember. Which you think would be grosser then their hopping around. It's not.
Kim Teeman December 05, 2012 at 01:02 PM
My 2-year old tabby cat Simon is an excellent cricket catcher. Though we have been lucky as never have more than 1 a day. At least that I can see. They're ugly and scary looking, but harmless.
jamie harrison December 06, 2012 at 04:17 PM
ughhhh I thought it was just us.Ii dont even show or tell my husband and kids because there are so many they would freak out. Other than being really ugly they don't bother me much and true I usually only see them in the basement. this article is VERY helpful (assuming your advice works) I will try and let you know. Unfortunately with a baby traps are NOT a viable option.
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